Profile: Willow Ostman

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Portland is a city where thousands of men and women who are homeless sleep on the streets. They are cold, hungry and without necessary supplies.

Student Willow Ostman has created a product intended to support homeless women.

After enrolling in a new class offered at LHS, Entrepreneurship, taught by both student Hank Sanders and teacher Mr. Hooper, Ostman was inspired to create her non-profit organization, FUSE, an acronym for Female Urban Street Essentials.

FUSE offers women a free safety package containing “cetaphil body wipes, hair ties, underwear liners, socks, toothbrush/toothpaste, combs, tampons, a resource guide, pepper spray, and condoms.” These essential products are not usually offered to women living on the street.

Ostman understands the issues of homelessness more than others. She has “women in [my] family who have been homeless in their past.”

To ensure she had all the basic essentials in her safety packages, Ostman “talked to a lot of the homeless women at the Underground- a shelter run by [my] neighbor.”

To ensure FUSE can service homeless women in the area, Ostman plans on having fundraisers and she has also started a student-led club called Women’s Student Union which meets in room 2A every Thursday at lunch. The club is going to put together packages for homeless women in the Portland area.

Ostman has a passion for helping out the less fortunate.